Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, pleaded guilty on Thursday for his role in a years-long tax fraud scheme with ex-President Donald Trump’s company.
Weisselberg’s plea deal with the Manhattan district attorney’s office requires the former executive to testify against the Trump Organization, which has pleaded not guilty after being indicted over the same scheme, at the company’s upcoming criminal trial.
However, Weisselberg will not have to testify against Donald Trump personally in the district attorney’s separate criminal investigation into the ex-president.
The deal also requires Weisselberg to pay nearly $2 million in back taxes, interest and penalties.
Weisselberg was facing a prison sentence of up to 15 years after being charged with 15 counts of tax fraud and evasion. However, his prison sentence will be whittled down to just five months if he satisfies the terms of the plea deal.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declared in a statement on Thursday that the agreement with Weisselberg “directly implicates the Trump Organization in a wide range of criminal activity.”
“We look forward to proving our case in court against the Trump Organization,” Bragg said.
The tax fraud scheme Weisselberg pleaded guilty to involved the Trump Organization compensating him in “perks,” such as luxury cars, private school tuition payments for his grandchildren and free rent for an apartment in New York City’s Upper West Side, to avoid paying payroll taxes.
As a result, Weisselberg managed to avoid paying taxes on $1.76 million in unreported income in total.